Around the Stegesaurus: The Alabama game

ATHENS – Another disappointing home loss for Georgia leaves me scratching my head about what went wrong. Had anyone told me that the Dawgs would allow less than 50 points to Alabama I would have said that it would have been Georgia's kind of game.

News and Notes from around the Stegesaurus:

Georgia started the game off with impressive defense and as it turns out the Dawgs looked good all night long on that end of the floor. Alabama managed to shoot only 36% from the field for the game.

"I was very pleased with the defense," said Georgia Head Coach Dennis Felton. "I was proud of our effort. I think that we made progress tonight. We held them to only 45 points and outrebounded them," added Felton.

Fan attendance was poor for the game, particularly at the start of the game. There were gaping sections of the Stegesaurus that went empty the whole game. Some said that the reason for the lack of attendance was the fact that the game tipped off at 7 PM.

The Georgia pep band was in good form the whole night long. They screamed "not good skills" and "fundamentals" at Alabama players when they turned the ball over.

Parts of Levi Stukes game are coming along great; others are still slow. Stukes still looks lost at times on offense and jumps in the air at the opposition on defense at times. He also insists on passing the ball with one hand (a big time no-no). However, he can shoot the ball when he has time and space. He is getting better at creating those situations by driving the ball down the lane. When he does that he is much more difficult to defend.

At the start of the game Alabama players were complaining to officials about a non-call on an apparent goaltending play at the start of the game. A Georgia player clearly blocked an Alabama lay up attempt after the ball hit the glass; that is by definition goaltending.

Georgia's help defense in man-to-man was one of the reasons that the Dawgs held Bama to 31% shooting and only 18 points in the first half. Georgia players were jumping to the ball (which is different than jumping in the air) and therefore help was always there for Georgia defenders. Interestingly enough, Alabama did not try to backdoor Georgia defenders. That is one way to combat that sort of defense. Also, Georgia has been susceptible to that this season.

Joey Waldrop is certainly a fan favorite but few understand that he brings more to the game than just pumping up the student section. Alabama players were forced to deal with Waldrop's big body during the end of the first half. And while the big man, who wears a size 21 shoe, did not score, he did bump bodies long enough to wear himself and the Alabama post players out.

Not only did Alabama's Antoine Pettway hit the game winning 3-point shot at the end of regulation, he also was noticeably faster than the rest of the guards on the floor. Felton said that he was surprised that Pettway decided to shoot the three pointer at the end of the game.

"We thought that they would drive the ball but Pettway rose up and shot the three," he said.

Pettway was able to run at ease with all of Georgia's guards. He might be the most underrated point guard in the SEC that is unless Rashad Wright takes that honor (it depends who you ask). Both players are excellent point guards.

As good as Georgia's defense was the Bulldogs' offense was that bad. Felton admitted that it was frustrating. "We are going to struggle to score," he said.

Georgia was having difficulty enough scoring against Alabama but when the Tide moved out of a man-to-man defense into a match up zone they totally confused Georgia.

At one point in the second half, right after Bama moved to a zone, someone inside of the Stegesaurus decided to open the garage door that is located behind the student section closest to the Georgia bench. Coincidentally, that was the side of the floor that Georgia was shooting at. That side of the gym became noticeable colder. Georgia got colder too. The offense virtually stopped at that point for the Dawgs.

Georgia's bench added no points on the night. Also the Dawgs' offensive effort was the worst ever for them since the initiation of the shot clock in the 1980s.

"Its gut wrenching that to lose like this," said Felton. "It's killing me that we lost."

Georgia plays Mississippi State on Saturday. The Maroon Bulldogs beat Florida tonight in Gainesville.

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